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Letters to the Editor, March 11

Destroying our human rights

SB 442-3 is a bill sponsored by Beaverton’s Elizabeth Steiner Hayward which seeks to abolish all philosophical and religious vaccine exemptions for Oregon’s children. If passed in its current form, kids who are not fully vaccinated according to the government-recommended schedule, even if they missed just one dose, will be barred from public schools, private schools and children’s facilities.

The decision to vaccinate should be based on a thorough evaluation of the benefits and risks, and tailored to the needs of the particular child and family. Coercion and one-size-fits-all mandates are not the answer.

Regardless of how you feel about vaccines, this legislation is much broader: It affects a family’s freedom to make their own health care decisions. It is a direct threat to our human and civil rights.

Our country was founded on the ideals of religious and civil freedom. This bill is un-American; the freedom-loving people of Oregon do not want their children’s medical decisions dictated by state legislators!

If you are concerned about this issue, please write and call our state lawmakers, especially the Senate Health Care Committee and Sen. Alan Bates, and tell them how you feel, and why.

Liz Schmidt, Ashland

A civics lesson

Most statements that begin with a variation of "I'm not a bigot, but ..." end with a bigoted statement, such as the one made by Murray LaHue in his March 1 letter. He accused members of the Congressional Black Caucus and others of reverse discrimination.

Mr. LaHue should consider that society is stacked to favor while, male, and straight citizens. People who are not white, male or straight must organize to get the political clout to counteract the disadvantages built into society. I hope this simple civics lesson will help Mr. LaHue become the person he thinks he aspires to be.

Mike Jensen, Ashland

Pay attention

On the first day of business of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, the Republicans set in motion a plan to cut Social Security disability benefits by 20 percent. They set in motion a plan to cut food stamp benefits. Shortly after that, they set in motion a plan to replace veterans’ health care with vouchers for private insurance. Then Greg Walden (number 5 in the leadership hierarchy of the Republicans) filed a bill to overturn the FCC decision on net neutrality. He did this at the behest of his second-largest donor, Comcast Corporation.

These are the kinds of things Republicans do when they know you are watching.

Can you imagine what the Republicans are doing when your head is turned?

Never forget that the Republican agenda is purely economic. Republicans could not care less about values. Your sense of morals is a tool Republicans use to manipulate you to vote against your own economic interests. Please try to remember that when you vote.

Michael Knox, Ashland

Supporting Starchvick

As the mother of three children in the Medford School System, I heartily endorse Karen Starchvick’s election to Position 4 of the School Board.

Karen’s bid to serve on the board is supported by an impressive array of community leaders in business, the arts and education. Her rich background in business, education and community involvement and her understanding of the value of a diverse curriculum for the greatest good of the students all convince me that she is fully capable of giving our schools, our teachers and our children the committed leadership they deserve. I invite all my friends and neighbors to join me in voting for Karen Starchvick for Position 4 of the Medford School Board.

Julie Bethea, Medford

Letters to the Editor, March 11